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Monday, July 12, 2010

Unexpected Life Changes



Well it has been a long time since I was last on here. Over Memorial day weekend we painted Kahlen's room. It turned out nice. It is apple green and lilac. It goes well with her bedding and is just a nice bright happy room. It looks like Kahlen. Alyssa and I painted it together. Had some nice mother daughter time together. We were both pretty darn proud of ourselves.

About a week later, we found out we won't be living here much longer. That is why I haven't written anything lately. I've been devastated. Willie has been transferred back to Danville, Illinois. He is already there and I miss him terribly. I'm staying behind to sell the house. A house that we have both put so much work into to make it feel like home. A house that Kahlen has spent her first year in. A house I thought we might get to grow old in. I know that it isn't like we are losing our house like so many others these days, but I had just come to believe we were going to get to stay here.

The hardest part is that we are going to be leaving our children and our little grand baby behind. Our children are all grown, and have lives here. They have no desire to go back to Danville, and I don't blame them. I will miss them dearly. It is ripping my heart out to think about leaving Kahlen behind. I love that little girl so much. I can't even think about not seeing her everyday. People at work have learned not to ask me about it cause it just makes me cry. As long as I don't talk about it it is ok. At night though, when I go to bed, no Willie beside me, I cry. I can't sleep.

One bright spot was this past weekend. Kahlen and I went to visit Willie in Danville. It was a challenging drive there. We left here about 4 pm after I got off work. I drove about two and a half hours to the I 80 truck stop just outside Davenport. Time to feed Kahlen and myself. There was some big festival going on at the truck stop, traffic was insane. I decided to go back across the interstate and ended up at a McDonald's.

Went to get Kahlen out of her car seat. She was dressed in a cute Iowa State outfit I bought her as a joke for her to wear to see Grandpa. He is a University of Iowa fan, but Valerie goes to ISU so we need to support both. The out fit was deep red with gold trim around the collar and ruffles on the tushi. I pick her up and she is soaked to the bone. Her outfit is soaked, her car seat is soaked. Yeah, the joke was on me. Went in changed her, fed her, fed me and back on the road.

Next stop, a little town just west of Peoria Illinois. Stopped at a convenience store where, I swear, there was a clerk there that looked and sounded exactly like Harold on the Red Green show. I kid you not! He was very nice and very polite, but Harold from head to toe.

Here is the challenge when traveling alone with an 11 month old. Bathroom breaks. Let's leave it at this, if you have to travel alone with an 11 month old keep a stroller handy! No matter where you stop to use the restroom put the baby in the stroller. Your life will be much easier. My life was not easy, The stroller was packed in the back in a way that I could not get it out. That's all I have to say about that.

It amazes me that in this day and age that there are still convenience stores and fast food places that do not have baby changing stations. This was another challenge. Poor Kahlen had to be changed in the car more than once. She didn't seem to mind, she is a little afraid of the baby changing tables anyway.

By this time Kahlen was very tired of being in the car seat. Just east of Peoria she started crying and wouldn't stop. I tried singing to her, no luck. I tried every song I could think of, still no luck. An hour later, desperate and thinking to myself "i will never do this again" I just started making various loud and strange noises. There was quiet in the back seat! So I kept making noises, guttural noises, squeaky noises, clacky noises, any noise my throat could make. If it had been light out and people could see me they'd have thought I was having some kind of spasms. A half an hour later, she was still quiet so I stopped the noises... Screams started again from the back seat. "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale a tale of a fateful trip..." I sang the ballad of Gilligan's Island over and over again for the next half hour. I got brave, stopped singing, and.... Quiet! She had gone to sleep. Next stop Danville. A six hour drive took seven hours.

Kahlen and Grandpa together again. They were both so excited. It was wonderful. Made the whole trip worth it. They played and giggled and chased each other until Kahlen just couldn't stay awake any more. Yeah, if Shane and Alyssa say it's ok, I'll bring her out again.

The next day we had breakfast with Grandpa, they played more until Willie had to go to work. We went with him and he got to be the proud grandpa showing her off to everyone. Then Kahlen and I went to the "mall" and walked around. She slept most of the time but I found some birthday presents for her. We wandered around looking for Wi Fi. Then stopped to feed her. We sat in an empty food court (yes this was Saturday afternoon) Kahlen ate her lunch and then went back to the apartment to change her diaper. A little while later we went and had lunch with Willie at Monicals Pizza, and fed Kahlen bread sticks. After we were done we drove around Danville looking at houses. That is the one thing good about moving there, houses are very affordable.

mmmmmm lemonade
We took Willie back to work and Kahlen and I went to the Vermilion County Fair. Apparently, they just don't take their fairs as seriously as we do here. There were food stands and 7 sheep. That's it. Again a Saturday afternoon. The rides weren't running. They didn't start running until five. I had to buy a lemonade just to justify to myself spending 2 dollars to get in. Makes me glad I'll be here to go to the Iowa State Fair.

Went to Penn Station for supper. Kahlen is wet, no baby changing station. decided to get my food to go so I could change her back at the apartment. While waiting for my sandwich Kahlen peed all over me and all over the floor. Desperate, I changed her in a booth. She couldn't wait til we got back to the apartment.


The drive home on Sunday was much better. We left about 11:30 am. We drove about an hour and stopped at a rest stop to feed Kahlen lunch. The stroller was a God send. Kahlen chased down a daddy long legs. Then back on the road. couple of hours later, stopped at a McDonald's, again, no baby changing station. But they had WiFi, priorities. Changed Kahlen in the car again.

Chasing daddy long legs
Next stop was at the I 80 truck stop again. The sky was looking dark and ominous, wanted to stop and check the weather. This time we got inside, the festival was over. We changed her diaper again and got an Orange Julius to share. Checked the weather, looked like it was just rain, no big storms. Walked around a little bit, found a couple of more birthday presents.

Back on the road. Drove about another hour, and stopped to feed Kahlen supper, why I didn't just feed her at the truck stop I don't know. I'm glad I didn't though. By this time the sun was shining again. We found a nice rest stop and dined outside. Kahlen enjoyed being out of the car and after a well timed poo, we both pushed the stroller back up the hill to the rest rooms.

Next stop, HOME. A six hour drive turned into a nine hour drive, but well worth the extra time. No crying no screaming and even a nice game of peek a boo in the rear view mirror. Mommy, Daddy and Baby together again. Happy mommy, happy daddy, happy baby. Tired grandma.

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